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Thread: Tank problems

  1. #1

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    Question Tank problems


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey guys, haven't been on here in a while because I haven't really had any problems that a quick google search couldn't fix (praise Google!) but we've moved recently and I've had some issues with my (slightly altered) community tank recently (I even lost one of my fish, he had to be euthanized cuz I don't know what the heck happened but he couldn't swim, couldn't eat and could barely breathe, but that's not the main issue here).

    See, we moved in September, but the tank did not move until late December/early January, which led to the fish being slightly neglected during that time. Pretty much everybody survived (I lost a few cherry barbs and some guppies, but I never had much luck keeping either of those breeds alive for more than a few weeks past their quarantine so I wasn't surprised, I also lost a snail, but he'd been growing much slower than my other 2 so I don't know what happened there... especially since he was the biggest one when I first got them all.) and the only real issue I had was all my tank plants were dead (no light) and there was algae everywhere (I guess there was enough light for that little bugger of a plant to keep going.) Moved the fish in a baggie, drained the tank as much as possible (I've had an injured shoulder recently and was unable to lift it alone, and the only help I had were my grandparents who aren't much help or I would have left everything alone, drained half the tank and gone like that.) moved it over, cleaned it out (just a quick water-vinegar wipe down for the glass and the filtration devices got changed out because the sponges had literally turned to brown sludge).

    Well, everybody was fine until a few days after we moved, then Apollo (one of my molly fish) went funny. Poor fellow didn't seem to be able to move his back or his right pectoral fins, was just laying on his side on top of a decoration and kinda gasping. He zipped right around when I went after him with a net, but still only used his left pectoral fin. I caught him, put him in a baggie with some water (my usual thing to see if a fish can be saved or not... basically if they're acting funny I put them in overnight and see how they are the next day) and then floated it like I was acclimating. Next day he seemed to be better, although still partially paralyzed so I let him back in, but by dinner he was horrid again so I just put him in the baggie and decided he'd be living there since something was clearly wrong. He got daily water changes and food (which he ignored so I stopped feeding him) and just kept getting worse (even less movement, more gasping, bumps grew on his head)... then he started developing bumps on his head... I finally had to ask my mom to euthanize him for me (the only methods I could find by searching were all too cruel for me to do) so he was gone and I figured it was just a onetime thing because everyone else has been healthy as horses.

    Until tonight... I'd finally moved my QT and my 15 gallon (used to be the betta tank, but the betta now lives in the 40 gallon community... and does swimmingly. He's a peaceful guy.) So I went down to feed my community, take care of some new fish acclimating in the QT, and start setting up the 15 gallon for... I dunno yet. I noticed 2 of my other molly fish had devolved bumps on their heads like the ones Apollo had before I euthanized him. I checked my water and holy cow was everything high! I did an immediate 50% water change (and made sure to really get the gravel good), and that seems to have brought down the nitrites to a safe (but still not happy for me) level... but the Nitrates haven't been affected at all. I don't know what's going on...

    Here's a list of things I've noted that COULD be part of the issue (although none of them really make sense to me... since it only seems to be affecting one specific type of fish at the moment.)

    - copper pipes; first time I've been aware of the type of piping, and it's copper... the Tap Water Conditioner I use is supposed to get rid of that, and indeed my snails aren't dead yet so I am forced to assume that it does it's job.

    - cold water; There are no sinks big enough for my buckets (I haven't gotten gallon jugs yet) in the new place so I've been using the guest tub... but the water sprays EVERYWHERE so I only use the lowest setting... which is also icy... (I try to offset this by letting at least some of the water just sit overnight to heat up, and by adding small amount of water from the hot water nozzle in the kitchen.) but the water has been fairly cold all the same (it's been settling at just below the marked safe zone on my thermometers, although I'm getting it raised now with some tricks)

    - nitrates; like I said above, they were high as hell... I can't really tell how high because my reader (I use the little stick things) doesn't go that high... working on fixing that (going to do another large water change tomorrow and one the day after, and also going to get at least a couple live plants)

    - nitrites; were high, but not quite yet in the "unsafe" zone according to my card (anything higher than 0 is annoying to me however), again, going to try and fix that over the weekend like the nitrates

    - vinegar; somehow my vinegar-water wipedown has screwed things up and is killing... only my molly fish?



    I'd like some help on figuring this out if anybody can help (the pH is also insanely high here, but I tested the tap and it's just always like that apparently... Kansas City has high water pH I guess...)


    My 40 tank currently houses: 4 mollys, 1 fancy lyretail guppy, 1 albino rainbow shark, 1 crowntail betta male, 2 bronze corys, 4-5 cherry barbs (I can never count them right...), and 2 otos, along with 2 blue apple snails that are roughly golfball sized. According to AqAdvisor I am well within the limits of my stock limit and filtration, and will remain so even after I add the fish I plan on adding.

    I'm doing what I can to fix this, but if I don't know the root of the problem then I can't really prevent it from happening again. Any help is appreciated.
    No tanks currently

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    a picture of the bumps could help the diagnosis. personally I feel it may be water quality related, either from
    the addition of unwanted chemicals from tank cleaning or tap water from the new location. the great disturbance to the gravel bed and filter may also causefilter bacteria die-off and the release of
    hydrogen sulfide.

  3. #3

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    Default Tank problems


    0 Not allowed!
    You moved. What's the pH? Is it well water? Is there a water softener in the house? Sounds to me you've covered everything else ? Nice to see such an effort. Someone who knows your stock and ph limits can probably zero in. But need to know what "high pH is"
    Last edited by Surfdog; 02-01-2014 at 03:57 AM.
    Life is tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid (John Wayne)
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    9 Tanks (2-29G QT) ranging from 150G to 10G for my 1/2 moon Beta
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  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    we're in the same city still, so I assume the pH is still higher than even the more professional testing kits can detect (sure was higher than the strip could...) and no it's not well water... I don't know if there's a water softener in the house, but I don't think there is... either way, the pH shouldn't be much different from before...


    A quick (difficult) google says the water in my area should be naturally free of lead and copper, with a pH of between 9.5 and 11 depending on "seasonal and yearly variables" which I am to take as "we don't know what the flip is happening".


    and Surfdog? I learned back when I first started, the second you see a problem... check your parameters... if you don't know how to fix them, ask for help.
    No tanks currently

  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    the filtration devices got changed out because the sponges had literally turned to brown sludge).
    You may have disrupted/eliminated some of your beneficial bacteria if you changed out all of your filter media and have now caused the tank to cycle again. Did you remove all of the filter media?

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    I see you tested your tap water for pH, but did you test it for ammonia, trites and trates?

    Sometimes tap water contains one or all three - and some folks have high nitrates to start off with, so water changes don't help in reducing trates.

    Also, don't be scared to change out more than 50% of your water. Is there a furnace room you could keep a large tote of water in, or some other room thats warmer than elsewhere in the house? You also may want to grab an aquarium heater for the tote, then you can change as much as you want without worrying about temperature. Tho, to be honest, fish can usually handle a one or two degree drop in temperature - its large sudden drops in temperature that are a shock.

    It does sound like you are experiencing a spike/mini-cycle. Keep a regular eye on your params and change as required. Hopefully your tap water is not high in any of the top 3 and changes will do the trick for you until your tank rebuilds BB.

  7. #7

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Hey guys, haven't been on here in a while because I haven't really had any problems that a quick google search couldn't fix (praise Google!) but we've moved recently and I've had some issues with my (slightly altered) community tank recently (I even lost one of my fish, he had to be euthanized cuz I don't know what the heck happened but he couldn't swim, couldn't eat and could barely breathe, but that's not the main issue here).

    See, we moved in September, but the tank did not move until late December/early January, which led to the fish being slightly neglected during that time. Pretty much everybody survived (I lost a few cherry barbs and some guppies, but I never had much luck keeping either of those breeds alive for more than a few weeks past their quarantine so I wasn't surprised, I also lost a snail, but he'd been growing much slower than my other 2 so I don't know what happened there... especially since he was the biggest one when I first got them all.) and the only real issue I had was all my tank plants were dead (no light) and there was algae everywhere (I guess there was enough light for that little bugger of a plant to keep going.) Moved the fish in a baggie, drained the tank as much as possible (I've had an injured shoulder recently and was unable to lift it alone, and the only help I had were my grandparents who aren't much help or I would have left everything alone, drained half the tank and gone like that.) moved it over, cleaned it out (just a quick water-vinegar wipe down for the glass and the filtration devices got changed out because the sponges had literally turned to brown sludge).

    Well, everybody was fine until a few days after we moved, then Apollo (one of my molly fish) went funny. Poor fellow didn't seem to be able to move his back or his right pectoral fins, was just laying on his side on top of a decoration and kinda gasping. He zipped right around when I went after him with a net, but still only used his left pectoral fin. I caught him, put him in a baggie with some water (my usual thing to see if a fish can be saved or not... basically if they're acting funny I put them in overnight and see how they are the next day) and then floated it like I was acclimating. Next day he seemed to be better, although still partially paralyzed so I let him back in, but by dinner he was horrid again so I just put him in the baggie and decided he'd be living there since something was clearly wrong. He got daily water changes and food (which he ignored so I stopped feeding him) and just kept getting worse (even less movement, more gasping, bumps grew on his head)... then he started developing bumps on his head... I finally had to ask my mom to euthanize him for me (the only methods I could find by searching were all too cruel for me to do) so he was gone and I figured it was just a onetime thing because everyone else has been healthy as horses.

    Until tonight... I'd finally moved my QT and my 15 gallon (used to be the betta tank, but the betta now lives in the 40 gallon community... and does swimmingly. He's a peaceful guy.) So I went down to feed my community, take care of some new fish acclimating in the QT, and start setting up the 15 gallon for... I dunno yet. I noticed 2 of my other molly fish had devolved bumps on their heads like the ones Apollo had before I euthanized him. I checked my water and holy cow was everything high! I did an immediate 50% water change (and made sure to really get the gravel good), and that seems to have brought down the nitrites to a safe (but still not happy for me) level... but the Nitrates haven't been affected at all. I don't know what's going on...

    Here's a list of things I've noted that COULD be part of the issue (although none of them really make sense to me... since it only seems to be affecting one specific type of fish at the moment.)

    - copper pipes; first time I've been aware of the type of piping, and it's copper... the Tap Water Conditioner I use is supposed to get rid of that, and indeed my snails aren't dead yet so I am forced to assume that it does it's job.

    - cold water; There are no sinks big enough for my buckets (I haven't gotten gallon jugs yet) in the new place so I've been using the guest tub... but the water sprays EVERYWHERE so I only use the lowest setting... which is also icy... (I try to offset this by letting at least some of the water just sit overnight to heat up, and by adding small amount of water from the hot water nozzle in the kitchen.) but the water has been fairly cold all the same (it's been settling at just below the marked safe zone on my thermometers, although I'm getting it raised now with some tricks)

    - nitrates; like I said above, they were high as hell... I can't really tell how high because my reader (I use the little stick things) doesn't go that high... working on fixing that (going to do another large water change tomorrow and one the day after, and also going to get at least a couple live plants)

    - nitrites; were high, but not quite yet in the "unsafe" zone according to my card (anything higher than 0 is annoying to me however), again, going to try and fix that over the weekend like the nitrates

    - vinegar; somehow my vinegar-water wipedown has screwed things up and is killing... only my molly fish?



    I'd like some help on figuring this out if anybody can help (the pH is also insanely high here, but I tested the tap and it's just always like that apparently... Kansas City has high water pH I guess...)


    My 40 tank currently houses: 4 mollys, 1 fancy lyretail guppy, 1 albino rainbow shark, 1 crowntail betta male, 2 bronze corys, 4-5 cherry barbs (I can never count them right...), and 2 otos, along with 2 blue apple snails that are roughly golfball sized. According to AqAdvisor I am well within the limits of my stock limit and filtration, and will remain so even after I add the fish I plan on adding.

    I'm doing what I can to fix this, but if I don't know the root of the problem then I can't really prevent it from happening again. Any help is appreciated.
    I think everything I highlighted from your post worked together to stress the fish and weaken the immune system to the point something, (bacteria, fungus, parasite, infection etc) was able to take hold. As Surf already mentioned, pH might have added to the issue as well as GH. Small differences in GH can really stress fish.

    Please don't add any more fish to your tank until you are certain it is cycled again. The presence of nitrite (and I will assume ammonia) mean the tank is no longer cycled.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    the tap water tests the same here as at my old home according to the strips (I will use the master-kit I have when I finally figure out which of the 30+ boxes I've yet to unpack it's hiding in). As I said, everything in my filter besides the charcoal bag was brown sludge. As in; it had lost all form and function. I had to change out everything (I left the charcoal bags because I didn't have new ones, but those were changed last weekend too because the residual sludge on them was clouding my water.) I played around last night and got the water in the refill bucket to be just about where I wanted it to sit (I want the tank at around 78-80F because of my Betta) so now it's just a matter of hoping that the water changes will help fix the temperature issue. (the tank is currently reading just below 72F, before it was reading at 64F ... I'm honestly surprised nobody died)

    Without my master kit I have no way of testing for ammonia as the strips do not cover it.

    I am going to purchase a few live plants today as I never had issues when I had them before and I hope they aid in speeding or containing the cycle. I am also switching to using feeding rings for the flakes (the Betta pellets are easier to control and the bottom feeder and algae wafers are only put in once a week as more often and I have issues with rotting food particles or massive algae blooms.). I'm going to monitor the fish while I'm down there and hope that something makes itself clear to me. If I can get Tenant or Eccelston to hold still for a while (or put them in the test box) I will try to get pictures of the lumps on their heads.
    No tanks currently

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    update: Plants have been added, I got a fern, some water wistera (split half and half between my 40 and 15 gallon tanks since I'm sure the 15 gallon will have the same problem.) and a sword plant. I lost Eccelson though... I got back and he was wrapped around the filter intake and gone. Tenny seems to be doing better though, he's stopped having issues moving forward (he would sorta treed water in mid swim for a bit) and going vertical and is swimming normal, though the bump is still there on his head. Someone at the fish store said it might be ich... but I thought that usually showed up as white speckles or flakes on a fish. The two that have been sick are (mostly) black so I'm sure I would have seen white spots, unless it can look different sometimes?
    No tanks currently

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry to hear you lost a fish and hope the others pull through. The plants will help a bit. Ich looks like you sprinkled your fish with salt which doesn't quite sound like what you are describing.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

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